Cooking through cancer: Antioxidant-ric…


Cooking through cancer: Antioxidant-rich recipes for treatment and beyond

April 13, 2017 | by Cook for Your LIFE

Nutrition is an important aspect of everyone’s health, but it becomes even more essential for those in treatment for or recovering from cancer.

A well-nourished body is better able to tolerate cancer treatment, leading to reduced side effects and greater strength.

The Dana Farber Cancer Institute recommends focusing on a diet full of vegetables and fruit, grains, healthy fat and lean proteins to stay nourished during treatment and while recovering.

This can be difficult to achieve as both the cancer itself and cancer treatment can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, reduced appetite or taste changes. With these side effects, malnutrition becomes a serious concern for many patients.

To help combat these symptoms, it is important to alter your eating pattern to get maximum nutrition delivered in a way which is easy for your body to digest and tolerate. It is also important to deliver enough nutrients to the healthy cells in the body to allow them to function at their best. Many patients believe that the best way to do this is by taking nutritional supplements; however at Cook For Your LIFE we believe in the power of natural fruits and vegetables.

Studies have consistently shown that it is antioxidants from food, not supplements, which truly benefit your body. To get them, we recommend eating the rainbow to get a variety of different nutrients, and eating little and often to make sure that you get the nutrition you need. For an additional boost, eat these delicious colourful vegetables and fruits with a source of fat, such as olive oil, cheese, nuts, cream or any oil-based dressing. The fat in these foods will help your body to absorb the phytochemicals, so you’ll reap the full antioxidant benefits.

It can seem difficult to eat more fruits and vegetables, especially if they haven’t been a big part of your diet until now. Here are some of our favorite delivery systems (aka recipes) for getting in your antioxidant fruits and veggies!



Always the best way to get in your vegetables! Try:

Grandma’s Minestrone Soup 

Lentil Soup With Squash and Fennel

Pureed Vegetable Soup with Collard Greens

Tomato and Sweet Potato Soup (for a dose of lycopene)



Try going meatless with these satisfying meals or add a piece of grilled fish or chicken or even an egg to get the protein you need to sustain you through treatment:

Swiss Chard Frittata

Spaghetti Squash au Gratin

Spicy Pasta with Kale and Almonds

Quinoa with Roasted Winter Vegetables

Moroccan Vegetable Stew

Eggplant Pita Pizza;



To get your five-a-day, salads can be a lot more than just lettuce and cucumber, nice as they are! Try these to get going:

Wilted Chard Salad with Walnuts 

Southwestern Kale Salad

Poached Pear Salad with White Wine Vinaigrette

Chicken Salad.



Simple fruit desserts satisfy your sweet tooth while bringing vitamins and nutrients along too! Frozen fruits and berries give us great nutrition year-round. Try these basics. If weight loss is a problem, add a little cream or whole milk Greek yogurt for extra calories:

Microwave Strawberry Compote

Lemony Berry Parfait

Simple Baked Apples

Poached Pears with Vanilla

Avocado Chocolate Mousse.



Smoothies are a great way to get in your fruits and vegetables when your appetite is poor. Try these recipes for some soothing comfort and needed extra calories:

blueberry tofu smoothie

banana peanut butter smoothie

orange carrot smoothie with ginger and dates


For more recipes and information on nutrition, visit



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Cook for Your LIFE

Guest Blog

We provide cancer patients, survivors and caregivers easy, tasty recipes for all stages of treatment and into healthy survivorship.